It’s easy to dismiss cyber crime as irrelevant to your business — who would actually take the time to exact a cyber crime against your small business instead of attacking the big guys?
The reality is that cyber crime hit more than half of all New Zealand businesses of all sizes last year – 56%. That’s more cyber crime incidents than fire and (physical) theft claims.
And small businesses are the most likely not to protect against cyber crime, making them more vulnerable to the threat.
Almost all businesses have some internet presence or make use of the internet in their everyday business dealings, so in truth cyber crime presents a risk to even the smallest businesses.
Virtually all businesses have records on computer, data emails, job types, invoices. Information of a personal nature about customers, budget details and maybe banking details and card numbers. Employee profiles, banking details. Your private information, and identifying numbers (like driver’s licence, IRD etc)
The consequences of such data being breached and used, sold on or made public, can be wide-ranging.
What is a cyber crime?
In basic terms, cyber crime is a blanket term for any type of activity of a criminal nature that is carried out using a computer and/or the internet.
Cyber crime includes all of the following:
Use of viruses
Phishing and Online scams
Information and Password theft
Criminals don’t necessarily need to hack your systems to commit cyber crime; if they manage to get their hands on a laptop, iPad or mobile phone belonging to your business (either because it has been stolen or left unattended), they have easy access to your information and are able to more easily commit their crimes.
How will cyber crime affect my business?
The ways in which cyber crime can affect your business are actually a lot broader than you might expect and are often ongoing and costly.
Beyond the general business interruption, a breach of data that results in personal information of customers or employees being made public can result in significant fines, legal fees, and costs associated with investigating the breach and notifying customers of the potential effects it may have on them.
Your existing customers are potentially likely to get put off from continuing to work with you or buy from you; new customers might be put off by word of mouth or bad publicity.
Reducing the Risk of Attack.
To help minimise the risk of a cyber attack you can employ the following protections:
Reputable anti-virus programs
Secure data back-up
Laptop and mobile security
Have social media policies for staff
You can talk to your IT providers and supports about these. There are some very good IT professionals providing external services to businesses in New Zealand.
But even if you do have all the right systems and software in place, your business is still at risk — particularly if your business involves the collection of customer information, including personal, credit card and bank details.
What does cyber insurance cover?
Although policies will vary between insurers, a typical cyber insurance policy is designed to help you with both preventing breaches in the first place and dealing with them if and when they occur. Cyber insurance policies usually include the following:
The cost of restoring or recreating electronic data after an attack
Forensic services to investigate a breach
PR support in the event that a breach harms your business’s reputation
Assistance guarding against data breaches, hacking and employee error
Guidance on how to respond to a breach
Funds to cover the adverse financial effects related to a breach
Funds to cover any fines that might be payable following a breach
Cyber Insurance policies have been developed by some of the most innovative and forward thinking Insurance providers in New Zealand, and are available through Brokers.
RDi can provide the advice, support and quotes that you need to adequately protect your business, your customers and your employees. Get in Contact with us today.